Friday, 26 December 2014

The Briolette of India - the oldest diamond on record in the world!!

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Blue Magic Blue Magic, Briolette. Of Indiainfo-diamond.com
   Diane de Poitiers (1499-1566), one time owner of the Briolette of India.gemstories.yolasite.com
The Briolette of India,www.etoolsage.com
The  Briolette of India is a colorless diamond - 90.38 carats. It is cut in a Briolette shape and it dates back to 12th century when it was first acquired by Eleanor of Aquitaine, the Queen consort of King Louis VII of France between 1137 and 1152. This makes the ''Briolette of India'' a chronological diamond, and maybe the oldest diamond on record in the world, still older than the well-known Koh-i-Noor diamond.

After her marriage to the King of France was dissolved, Eleanor married Henry II of England, to whom she bore eight children including Richard I of England (Richard the Lion heart) who is said to have later acquired the diamond. Modern sources speculate that King Richard I carried the Briolette of India with him when he took part in the 3rd crusade.
     
The stone dates backside to the time of the movements between 1122 and 1200. The documentation history of the Koh-i-Noor diamond commenced only after the year 1295, according to the "Baburnama" (memoirs of Babur) printed by Mogul Emperor Babur himself, the earliest of the great Mogul Emperors of India.

It next appeared in the 16th century when Henry II of France gave it to his blonde mistress, Diane de Poi tiers. It was shown in one of many portraits of her while at Fontainebleau.

Four centuries, the stone it resurfaced again in 1950 when the jeweler, Harry Winston, of New York, bought it from an Indian Maharajah. It was sold to Mrs. I.W. Killam and bought back by Mr. Winston, following her death, about 10 years later.
 According to historian Hans Nadelhoffer, the Briolette of India was cut into its distinctive shape in Neuilly, Paris and sold to the jewllery traders Cartier, along with another diamond called the Blue Heart (aka Unzue Heart). "Initially set as a pendant with a 126-grain pearl," Nadelhoffer writes, "the splendid stone was combined the following year [1910] with two 22-carat emeralds and the same pearl to form a brooch, which was sent to the New York branch of Cartier. In 1911, Cartier's sold it to (American financier) George Blumenthal, who presented it to his wife, Florence Meyer Blumenthal.

 Trail of Tragedy -Was it caused by ill-luck or curse ?
 

Richard I the Lion heart, who reigned in England from 1189 to 1199 AD  was a believer in the great protective properties of the diamond. In 1190  on his First Crusade to the Holy Land, Jerusalem he kept  the Briolette along with him for good luck and protection. As ill-fate would have it, on his way to the Holy Land, he fell ill and had to stop to rest. While he was away, his brother John, taking advantage of his long absence, seized power in England. After an encounter with  the Turks, Richard was too sick to continue  his journey and  he  was on the way back  to England, without having seen Jerusalem. On the way, he was captured by the Duke of Austria and locked up, as an enemy of the German empire. After two years Richard was finally released to go back to England.

After  a decade of all kinds of ordeals in spite of carrying the Briolette  with him  - losing power, surviving illness, capture, and imprisonment, Richard, at last, was, fatally wounded while fighting in France. During this period, it is believed, that the Briolette was stolen and landed in the safe vault  of  French royal treasury. 


This  splendid diamond of Indian origin, once owned by the Indian as well as European royal families, is very unique  in every aspect - distinctive cut, design,color, shades etc and remains the most famous  briolette-cut diamond in the world.
Diamonds". Diamonds are Forever. Retrieved 16 November 2008. 

Ref:
 

"The Old Briolette of India Diamond". YGOY. 6 October 2007. Retrieved 19 November 2008.